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TCM Tribute to Nicholas Ray

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ChiO
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Re: TCM Tribute to Nicholas Ray

Postby ChiO » October 6th, 2011, 7:26 pm

Yeah -- sorry for the mis-titling. Seems like half of my reference books have "YOU" and half have "WE", and I looked in one in the wrong half. I picked up a copy of the film and found it to be quite incredible. TCM is showing it this month and I'm hoping it is a better print (gonna be tough to be a worse print). This may be of interest:

http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis3/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=3501&p=54318&hilit=nicholas+ray+of+hope#p54318
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

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Re: TCM Tribute to Nicholas Ray

Postby kingrat » October 9th, 2011, 4:09 pm

A footnote about IN A LONELY PLACE: the line about "I was born when we met" is borrowed from GILDA, isn't it, when Glenn Ford tells George Macready, "I was born the night we met"?

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Re: TCM Tribute to Nicholas Ray

Postby kingrat » October 11th, 2011, 5:33 pm

Just a quick note that five more Ray films are on tonight:

REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE
JOHNNY GUITAR
FLYING LEATHERNECKS
ON DANGEROUS GROUND
THE LUSTY MEN


I'd guess that most of the visitors here have seen REBEL, JOHNNY, and ON DANGEROUS GROUND. However, if you haven't seen THE LUSTY MEN, that one is well worth seeing. It's actually one of my favorite Ray films, along with IN A LONELY PLACE, ON DANGEROUS GROUND, and BIGGER THAN LIFE.

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Re: TCM Tribute to Nicholas Ray

Postby MissGoddess » October 19th, 2011, 9:37 am

I did a search but didn't find a thread on Bigger than Life though I could have sworn there was one...

I'd like to know what others think of it. Last night was only my second time seeing it. Does any agree it is Ray's "masterpiece"?
"There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education."
-- Will Rogers

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Re: TCM Tribute to Nicholas Ray

Postby Gary J. » October 19th, 2011, 10:27 am

I personally have never considered Ray to be a top tiered director. For such a small body of work, he made a lot of undistinguished films (FLYING LEATHERNECKS, anybody). Their parts seem to be greater than their whole and many give off an arty, B-movie vibe to me (THEY LIVE BY NIGHT, BORN TO BE BAD, JOHNNY GUITAR)

The main reason to watch BIGGER THAN LIFE is for James Mason's neurotic, strung-out performance.

I have always enjoyed THE LUSTY MEN (52) - especially at how it ends.
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JackFavell
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Re: TCM Tribute to Nicholas Ray

Postby JackFavell » October 19th, 2011, 10:54 am

I haven't seen very many Ray films. So far, They Live By Night speaks to me the most. I just fell in love with the movie the first time I saw it. Whether a film appears to be a B film doesn't really affect my appreciation of it, besides I think that is a subjective judgment that doesn't say much. It's a value I don't really understand and doesn't seem to me to have any meaning. A film's price tag doesn't always denote greatness.

I watched Johnny Guitar last week and really enjoyed it - It was far better than I thought it was going to be and quite beautiful - in fact, all of Ray's films that I have seen so far, especially the outdoor ones, have been just gorgeous - with perfect camera set ups and mise en scene. I think Ray's set ups are under-appreciated. Not flashy for the most part. Some of his films have a vivid use of color, but they always call for it. Red seems to be important to Ray.

This is my first time watching Bigger Than Life, and I was on the edge of my seat terrified by the end. How we could still care for James Mason at the end of the film is a tribute to the director and Mason's ability. I thought it was cast perfectly, with great performances by the whole family. Barbara Rush was excellent.

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ChiO
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Re: TCM Tribute to Nicholas Ray

Postby ChiO » October 19th, 2011, 12:10 pm

Does any agree it is Ray's "masterpiece"?


Yes, along with: THEY LIVE BY NIGHT, IN A LONELY PLACE, ON DANGEROUS GROUND, THE LUSTY MEN, JOHNNY GUITAR, and REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (a movie that is too often set aside because it has become iconic). PARTY GIRL and BITTER VICTORY just missed my cut. But I'm a Ray fan.

Last night, I showed JOHNNY GUITAR in a class I'm teaching on Westerns, The Western: Beyond the Myth (O, how Fate dealt such an ugly hand with the class being scheduled during a salute to Ray month on TCM.). A class of 18, only 3 of whom had seen it. I was fully armed to defend this delirious surrealistic noir of a Western. When the movie ended, the class, as one, started applauding. I went from fully armed to disarmed, truly expecting some vitriol. Where's that Region 1 DVD?

FLYING LEATHERNECKS? Calling it "undistinguished" works for me. The Ray-Ryan combo missed on that one. One of Ray's lines about the movie is more enjoyable than the movie: I cast Robert Ryan opposite John Wayne because I knew he was the only actor in Hollywood who could kick the *#@* out of Wayne.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

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ChiO
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Re: TCM Tribute to Nicholas Ray

Postby ChiO » October 19th, 2011, 12:17 pm

Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

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Re: TCM Tribute to Nicholas Ray

Postby CineMaven » October 19th, 2011, 9:46 pm

JackFavell wrote:I haven't seen very many Ray films. So far, They Live By Night speaks to me the most. I just fell in love with the movie the first time I saw it. Whether a film appears to be a B film doesn't really affect my appreciation of it, besides I think that is a subjective judgment that doesn't say much. It's a value I don't really understand and doesn't seem to me to have any meaning. A film's price tag doesn't always denote greatness.

I love what you've said here. I do. I love your sensibilities re: films.
I watched Johnny Guitar last week and really enjoyed it - It was far better than I thought it was going to be and quite beautiful - in fact, all of Ray's films that I have seen so far, especially the outdoor ones, have been just gorgeous - with perfect camera set ups and mise en scene. I think Ray's set ups are under-appreciated. Not flashy for the most part. Some of his films have a vivid use of color, but they always call for it. Red seems to be important to Ray.

Whoa!!! JOHNNY GUITAR" one of my favorites. I'd like to know MORE of what you thought about this film: Crawford, McCambridge, Hayden & Scott Brady...and Royal Dano.
This is my first time watching Bigger Than Life, and I was on the edge of my seat terrified by the end. How we could still care for James Mason at the end of the film is a tribute to the director and Mason's ability. I thought it was cast perfectly, with great performances by the whole family. Barbara Rush was excellent.

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Ha...can you imagine being this close to Barbara Rush...and being too scared to tell her what a fan I've been all these years. I took a pix of her with a braver fan at TCM's film festival. < ( Sigh! ) > My regret.
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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JackFavell
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Re: TCM Tribute to Nicholas Ray

Postby JackFavell » October 20th, 2011, 7:13 am

AHhh! She still looks great!

I'll have to get it together to post about Johnny Guitar. I have pretty jumbled up thoughts on it. Most of my impressions are simply about the story and acting, no deep thoughts on the way it was directed. Ray is actually a pretty subtle director, as far as his set-ups are concerned - they are perfectly done.

At first I thought Crawford didn't fit in the movie at all, but as time went on, I really grew to like her - Joanie comes through again! I thought her back and forthing with Sterling Hayden was a riot and I was pretty surprised that they actually knew one another - I missed part of the beginning, but I hope that the reveal of their past relationship was intentionally kept from us. It made everything fall into place and make sense for me. I love the outsider aspects of the story.

Mercedes was over the top! She was quite the character - I loved her repressed sexuality as the cause of her hatred and the fact that everyone but her could see it. :D

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Re: TCM Tribute to Nicholas Ray

Postby CineMaven » October 20th, 2011, 7:28 am

JackFavell wrote:...Mercedes was over the top! She was quite the character - I loved her repressed sexuality as the cause of her hatred and the fact that everyone but her could see it. :D

Ha! Isn't that always the way! I like how at the end the posse was saying "this ain't our fight. Never was." Well dudes, why'd you mount up in the first darned place. Aye yi yi! I loved how John Carradine looked straight into the camera talking about Vienna. Oh Ernie, Ernie, Ernie. How can he play such villains...AND do "MARTY"?

Oh, you actors...
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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Re: TCM Tribute to Nicholas Ray

Postby JackFavell » October 20th, 2011, 7:34 am

Oh yeah- I LOVED John Carradine! I forgot. This is the first time I have actually LOVED this actor. I do like him very much in Grapes of Wrath and Stagecoach, and then especially in Prisoner of Shark Island, where he starts out bad but repents of it. I like him, but he can be so actor-y sometimes that I don't sympathize.... he was just great here, so sympathetic, and with none of the vocal tricks or oddness that generally mark his performances. Gosh he was swell.

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Re: TCM Tribute to Nicholas Ray

Postby RedRiver » October 20th, 2011, 11:14 am

His character, Casey, is the most interesting in "Grapes." Certainly, in the book. But, I think, in the movie too. JC was a broad player. Didn't believe in subtleness. But he ate scenery with the best of them!

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ChiO
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Re: TCM Tribute to Nicholas Ray

Postby ChiO » October 20th, 2011, 11:28 am

My favorite "repressed sexuality" line: He makes her feel like a woman and that scares her.

Carradine is wonderful in a relatively (for this movie) non-showy role: Look... everybody's looking at me. It's the first time I ever felt important.

Ben Maddow and Ray must have had a great time playing with the script.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

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Re: TCM Tribute to Nicholas Ray

Postby RedRiver » October 20th, 2011, 12:38 pm

He makes her feel like a woman and that scares her.

Scares me when that happens!


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